Green building design in Vancouver involves many elements which work together to create an efficient, sustainable building. One important factor is the data obtained by energy modeling before the building is even constructed. Through energy modeling, sustainable building designers can account for the building’s energy use in the design stage to further improve the building’s energy management and use.
What is Energy Modeling?
Energy modeling is a process conducted before the building is erected. Using software analysis, the energy modeling process can determine a building’s energy use before there is even a structure through creating a simulation of the building’s annual energy use. The data obtained through energy modeling provides valuable insight to the designer, which can be used to optimize green building design in Vancouver.
The energy modeling process considers hundreds of factors in order to create an accurate energy assessment of a proposed sustainable building. Inputs to the modeling process include:
- The characteristics of the building’s design and materials used
- Details about building occupants and how the space will be used
- The characteristics of the building’s major systems (HVAC, lighting, process systems, etc.)
Energy modeling allows for the energy efficiency of a building to be assessed before systems are actually in place. Seeing this data ahead of time allows designers to evaluate system choices and even choose better alternatives before the expenses of materials and installation have been incurred. The energy modeling process provides valuable information which can help green building designers in Vancouver evaluate decisions to ensure long-term goals will be achieved.
Through energy modeling, sustainable building designers can gather data to reinforce design choices and ensure the building is designed to maximize efficiency. Tweaks and changes are less expensive at this stage, and are generally more easily implemented. Plus, being able to improve the efficiency of a building in the design stages leads to higher overall efficiency, creating a better final product which will generate a higher level of energy savings over the lifetime of the building.
Energy modeling is also beneficial when renovations are to be done for an existing building. The data found during the energy modeling process is important evidence which helps green building designers in Vancouver identify opportunities and determine the most cost-effective upgrades which will maximize the efficiency of the final project. Energy modeling data has also been proven useful for justifying building upgrades and improvements when necessary.